JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Meet cancer survivor Marissa Ierna.

"In the beginning, a surgeon wanted to remove the tumor and said she would never run again," tells her mother, Diane Ierna.

Five years ago, Marissa was battling Stage 4 cancer. Now, she is training for the Boston Marathon. About four months into her treatment, costs began to rack up for the Ierna family.

"The social worker came to us every time and said 'hey we need to talk about the Jay fund. They are here for you'," tells Todd Ierna.

So, they sat down with a financial planner from The Jay Fund.

"We kind of came up with a game plan where we could come out at the end and not be bankrupt," Diane says.

The Jay Fund helps families establish a game plan to pay for all the extra expenses associated with cancer treatment.

"Often times, people are afraid to reach out and then they are further in debt and in trouble and that makes it harder to dig out," tells Kathy Devine with The Jay Fund.

Marissa Ierna underwent cancer treatment at Nemours Children's Specialty Care and is now officially cancer-free and The Jay Fund even helped her with a scholarship to college.

The Iernas now meet with other families just learning about The Jay Fund because they say they can't imagine what their journey would have been like without it.

The largest annual fundraiser for The Jay Fund is coming up March 17, The Jay Fund Wine Tasting Gala at Wells Fargo downtown.

For tickets visit: https://tcjayfund.org/